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Gambling Authority investigates alleged order violations

The Samoa Gambling Authority (S.G.A.) is investigating a “handful of reports” about groups holding bingo games despite orders under the National State of Emergency banning them.

S.G.A. Manager of Licensing Regulation & Compliance, Auimatagi Karanita Ah Kuoi confirmed that the authority is investigating up to five complaints lodged with their office.

“If it is confirmed that a licensed operator has breached the notice, and effectively the S.O.E. orders, they will be issued a warning,” Auimatagi said.

“And their license [will be] suspended/cancelled as well as being fined $500 tala.”

Told that one of the churches allegedly proceeded with their bingo on the week the notices came out, the Manager said the authority has initiated an investigation into it and if proven the group will face the same consequences. 

To re-emphasise the message from the Government about the prevention of the spread of measles, Auimatagi said bingos are public gatherings and are covered under the S.O.E. orders hence their earlier notice. 

“The reason for this is that public gatherings enable the rapid spread of the measles virus,” he said. 

“It is important that the public comply with the S.O.E. orders and the associated notices to give effect to this so as to halt or slow the opportunities for the spread of the Measles virus.”

Furthermore, the Manager of Licnesing Regulation & Compliance urged the public to comply with the notices and warned bingo operators who breach it will be fined and their licences suspended.

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